Laura Wolvaardt
Proteas skipper Laura Wolvaardt needed a 'crash course' before the Test against Australia in Perth. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS
  • cricket

Proteas skipper takes ‘crash course’ for historic Test

Murray Wenzel February 15, 2024

Laura Wolvaardt admits she’s needed a crash course in Test cricket as the South African captain prepares to play just the second red-ball game for her country.

The Proteas will meet Australia at the WACA in Perth from Thursday in the first Test between the two traditional cricketing heavyweights.

South Africa’s women have played just 13 Tests though, their program’s professionalism only gathering pace in recent years.

 Veteran allrounder Marizanne Kapp has been the star of the series for South Africa. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS 

Star bat Wolvaardt has just the one cap while veteran allrounder and star of the ongoing series Marizanne Kapp, 34,  has played two Tests since debuting in 2009.

Kapp has made the most of it though, boasting a highest score of 150. 

“It’s very special,” Wolvaardt said on the eve of the four-day clash.

“It’s very special; Australia are leading the way so to measure ourselves against them is an awesome opportunity.

“I love Test cricket, love watching it and love the battles within the battles.

“But that’s the hardest part (rarely playing). 

“We’ve been having a crash course the last few days and captaincy wise with the fields (setting) and not having much domestic experience in red ball makes it quite challenging.”

South Africa had never beaten Australia in any format before this tour but now boast victories in both 20 and 50-over formats.

 Alyssa Healy says Australia will risk losing even it means beating South Africa in the Perth Test. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS 

Australian skipper Alyssa Healy has suggested her side will risk a loss in order to win, even though a Proteas victory would see them tie the multi-format series.

“It would be an amazing achievement,” Wolvaardt said.

“The gap is slowly but surely closing but we still have a lot of work to do.

“It’s a totally different format and we’ll have to start fresh.” 

Both teams will confirm their line-ups at the toss, but Healy did reveal she would remain in the middle order with Beth Mooney and Phoebe Litchfield continuing their opening partnership.